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OBA calls on Government to hold talks with taxi operators

Opposition calls for government talks with taxi operators (File photograph)

The Opposition has called on the Government to hold a transportation summit with taxi operators.

The comments come after taxi owners said they wanted a meeting with ministers to try and help shape policy.

Susan Jackson, the Shadow Minister of Transport, accused the Government of not understanding transport realities.

She said: “Why is the Ministry of Transport taking so long to address the public transportation concerns?

“There are clearly a number of complex issues to be addressed, and the stakeholders have made themselves available only to receive silence.

“A two-day summit is a great idea. All industry stakeholders, around the table to create new regulations for all public transportation, traffic controls at high volume locations including the cruise terminal, airport, Horseshoe Bay.

“There are so many pieces to the puzzle, and the best way to work through the issues and have a majority agreement for a new era in public transportation is a summit.”

The Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association has called on the Government to hold talks.

Ms Jackson said: “If government refuses a summit, it risks appearing to have its own agenda and that there may be a desire to deprive the public transportation industry of solutions until taxi, minibus and limo owners are forced to surrender to the Burt Administration’s new scheme, which the premier asserted ‘is in the pipeline’.

“Without real conversations, whatever is in the Government’s pipeline may be great, but completely detached from what the daily realities of the industry actually are.

“Taxis and minibuses are fast approaching the height of the tourist season with hundreds of thousands of cruise passengers and air visitors wanting to travel about the island.

“There are experiences and insights from public transport owners that must be listened to and considered if reasonable solutions are to be achieved.

“Government has been controlling the industry for too long with public transportation receiving nothing in return.

“The Government should also provide concessions to public transportation owners to reduce their overhead.

“It’s time to create opportunities for owners to generate enough revenue to prosper. I believe this will open the industry and provide a new career opportunity for generations to come.”

The BTOA has questioned why the minibus industry has been able to escape the type of regulation the taxi industry has long been under.

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Published June 05, 2023 at 7:52 am (Updated June 05, 2023 at 7:36 am)

OBA calls on Government to hold talks with taxi operators

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